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On Second Thought

When We Get It Wrong

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Everywhere I’ve worked and regardless of the medium, I’ve heard similar reader complaints: “You got it wrong.”  And the too-frequent follow-up: “If you can’t get something that simple right, how can I trust the rest of what you report?”  

Today’s Penitent Political Journalists

0 Comments · Thursday, May 12, 2016
Until recently, the possibility that Donald Trump might speak for the Grand Old Party of Ike, Taft, George I and II and Ronny was so remote that it wasn’t a story.   

Obama and Megyn Kelly: Media Critics

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 13, 2016
President Obama and Fox’s Megyn Kelly could be a Saturday Night Live duo, satirizing Obama and Kelly. Their latest schtick is to blame the news media for the rise of Donald Trump. Seriously?

National GOP Doesn’t Have a Say on Trump

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 30, 2016
To quote columnist Robert Fisk in a different context, “If this wasn’t tragic, it would be farce.” The tragedy is the ease with which Republican presidential aspirants manipulate news cycles.

Trump-as-Hitler Analogies

0 Comments · Friday, March 18, 2016
It didn’t take long before politicians and commentators in the news media began likening Donald Trump to Hitler or Mussolini.  

Odd Newsmakers and Provocative Speech

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Melissa Click went too far when she called for immediate violence against student reporters, and Pete Santilli may have overstepped the journalist’s role when he supported the militants’ occupation of a federal animal refuge.

Check It Out

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 17, 2016
I’ve never understood reporters who invent stories, events, sources or quotes. Whether reporters expect to get away with it is unclear, but getting caught can be a career-killer. Who trusts a proven cheat or unreasonable litigation risk?  

Considering Pre-'Spotlight' Reporting on Sexual Abuse by Catholic Priests

0 Comments · Friday, February 5, 2016
Thirty years ago, Jason Berry and National Catholic Reporter ignited Americans’ awareness of sexual abuse by Catholic priests. Yup, it’s been in the news media at least that long.

Police-Shooting Stats and the Media

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 20, 2016
While federal officials dithered, The Washington Post and U.S. staff of London’s daily Guardian compiled lists of Americans killed by law enforcement last year.   

Media Complicity in Anti-Arab Anger and Fear

0 Comments · Friday, January 8, 2016
I’m sickened by mainstream news and opinion media complicity in our anti-Muslim, anti-Arab anger and fear.

On Second Thought...

0 Comments · Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Liberal commentators in diverse news media with whom I generally agree tend to suffer SSDD (Same Stuff, Different Day). Conservatives, however, are endlessly creative when it comes to their abilities to stoke anger and fear.  

Labels Matter

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 9, 2015
I was The Cincinnati Enquirer’s new federal beat reporter and the late federal judge Carl Rubin asked what I knew about courts. “The only ones I’ve covered were Native Courts in Northern Rhodesia, but they’re just like the ones here: white judges and black defendants.” 

Considering the Hierarchy of Suffering

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 2, 2015
No one in a newsroom is a stranger to the hierarchy of suffering. If arguments around the news desk aren’t enough to drive home that reality, our readers, viewers or listeners do.   

Confused By ‘Enquirer’ Parks Levy Endorsement

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 11, 2015
The election’s done, but I’m still puzzling over the Enquirer endorsement of the parks levy. From what the two endorsement editorials said about the park board, its president Otto Budig and Mayor John Cranley, I expected Enquirer opposition to the levy.

Copycat Crimes and Coverage

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 28, 2015
A common lapse involves “blackbird journalism.” It takes its name from birds sitting on a utility wire. When one flies off, the rest usually follow.